Village Roadshow Secures $1B Production Facility

Industry's biggest financing deal in years reveals loosening credit markets

 Amid perhaps the strongest signal yet that the global film finance market is loosening, Village Roadshow Pictures announced Thursday that it has secured a $1 billion production facility to underwrite its current movie slate.

JPMorgan Chase and Rabobank acted as joint syndication agents. They also served the role of co-bookrunners and co-lead arrangers, along with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“At a time when capital is at a premium, we’ve managed to attract the confidence of a diverse group of investors and secure significant financing,” said Greg Basser, CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.

The Australian-based Village Roadshow remains a vital production partner for Warner Bros. Pictures, with the pair partnering on 65 releases to date that have cumulatively grossed $10 billion.

Their most recent collaboration, "Sex and the City 2," debuted in North America to $3 million at midnight performances.

"We have had a long, successful relationship with Village Roadshow, and we're very pleased they will continue to be our partners in making great movies," added Warner Bros. chairmand and CEO Barry Meyer and studio president and COO Alan Horn in a joint statment.

Upcoming films in the Warner/Village Roadshow collaborative pipeline include the July 30 release of "Cats and Dogs 2" in 3D, the Sept. 24 3D premiere of "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole," as well as Katherine Heigl/Josh Duhamel dramedy "Life as We Know It" and "Happy Feet 2."